Reported by Lian Hua Sophie/translated by J. Lee /edited by D. Smith
On Saturday, November 4th, 2006, Grand Master Lu attended the Seattle LSCT group practice on an impulse. Master Lian Wang led the group practice in which both Rev. Lian Yan and Master Lian Wang later discussed their ordination affinities. Afterwards, Master Lian Wang, on behalf of the attendees, sincerely invited Grand Master Living Buddha Lian Sheng to give a dharma teaching.
Grand Master Lu discussed Master Lian Wang and Rev. Lian Yan`s ordination affinities along with the various obstacles each of them had encountered along the way. Then Grand Master Lu explained that when he was young, he did not have the same ambition as they did. It was popular in those days for people to go and seek die-xien (another form of fortune-telling in Taoism). Grand Master further explained that his own mother sought this guidance and it predicted that Grand Master would be ordained at the age of forty-three. At the time, Grand Master Lu did not believe in this, so he really did not give it much thought. It was during the occasion when Rev. Guo Xian from Hong Kong`s Wai Chuen Temple came to Seattle to visit Grand Master when Grand Master Lu knew his ordination affinity had matured. Therefore, at the age of forty-three, Grand Master Lu took the ordination vows.
Thereafter, Grand Master Lu began the evening meditation by saying: `When one`s heart is without greed and anger that is when one is following the precepts. When one`s heart is pure, it is like being ordained`. Just because someone has been ordained and wears the habit, it does not signify that someone is pure. Even the mundane lay person who practices at home and keeps his hair and he obtains a pure heart, he can also be classified as ordained. It is important for cultivators to not have hatred, but to endure. Sometimes one may have second thoughts, as there will be times when things will not be very pleasant. Yet when one reflects back to the precepts of a Mahayana practitioner, the precepts tell us to think of everyone as a Buddha, even though it may be difficult. The Kalachakra dharma mentions `to respect everyone as Tathagata.` Why is there greed, anger, and ignorance? Because of the cycle of karmic action that arises when people do not cultivate and therefore lack the wisdom that comes from cultivation. Hinayana practitioners are self-contained, and try to have no hatred and no anger, like the Arhats. Mahayana practitioners also have no hatred, no anger, and no worries.
As long as there are human beings in this world, there will be conflicts between right or wrong. It is important for people to find their own serenity and to live without worrying so their self-achievement can be fulfilled. During this process, although one may face various obstacles, it is important to think of these as blessings. In this world, there is no real peaceful place; however, there are still purification monasteries where we can go to practice. For spirits in the three karmic animal realms that are without wisdom, it is difficult to practice.
Grand Master is not seeking longevity. Recently, there were many invitations from chapters all over the world requesting his presence. However, it is not possible for him to go to every chapter. It depends on affinity. When the affinity ripens, that is when Grand Master will go. Otherwise, Grand Master can only say, `sorry`. Grand Master says one`s life has its limits along with one`s physical strength. Grand Master will try to fulfill everyone`s wishes. Grand Master asked the disciples: `If Grand Master is not present, who will you look for`? One of the students responded: `Grand Master is in the universe.` Grand Master said that his body form is only an illusion, as it is not real. The existence of dharma resides in the universe, so its origin has never departed nor arrived. Buddhism is an essence; with the essence, Grand Master exists, without the essence, Grand Master`s body form does not exist. Grand Master is always in the universe that never departs nor arrives.
Grand Master will try to fulfill the wishes of all sentient beings. Every chapter all over the world is inviting Grand Master`s presence. Grand Master`s body is only an illusion. However, Grand Master`s essence will always be present. Grand Master wishes everyone to cultivate diligently and become a Bodhisattva, to be free from anger and hatred, to be compassionate, to endure, and to help all sentient beings.